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The [Wednesday] Papers

"WBEZ and state lawmakers separately have been trying to obtain e-mails relating to what would become repeated outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease at the [Quincy] veterans' home. The disease has contributed to the deaths of 13 residents and sickened dozens more in 2015, 2016, 2017, and again this year. But the Rauner administration has fought to keep them secret," the station reports.

"Despite those roadblocks, WBEZ has obtained nearly 1,400 e-mails between state public health officials, local public health officials, and the state agency that oversees the facility in Quincy, which is about 310 miles southwest of Chicago along the Mississippi River in west-central Illinois."

The "highlights," so to speak:

"By Aug. 29, 2015 . . . at least [four] residents had already died of Legionnaires' and nearly three dozen people had gotten sick, according to a later report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . . . [Public Health Director Nirav] Shah spokes[person] Melaney Arnold quickly pivoted to messaging.

"It is understandable how upsetting this is, but for talking points - if pressed - testing/diagnosis for Legionnaires' disease takes time," she wrote in an e-mail that same day. "As soon as we knew a diagnosis, we shared the info," adding that "emotion is going to start driving the news stories, so I envision things getting much more difficult moving forward."

Melaney Arnold, you are Today's Worst Person In Illinois.

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But suddenly, we have a new competitor:

On Aug. 30, 2015 . . . [state Veteran's Affairs Department spokesperson Ryan] Yantis circulated a flattering Quincy Herald-Whig news story headlined, "Residents, family laud Illinois Vets Home staff as Legionnaires's [sic] disease cases climb" . . . "Coverage like this does not get much better," Yantis said. "Talking points and responsiveness to the reporter help shape the story. Team effort."

Yuck.

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"Arnold, who still works for the Illinois Department of Public Health, did not directly address the e-mails . . . In a statement, she wrote, 'We understand the pain and frustration of the families affected by Legionnaires' disease and offer our heartfelt sympathies.'"

ARNOLD REFUSED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT HER PUBLIC RELATIONS RESPONSE TO THE DEATHS OF VETERANS IN THE STATE'S CARE. WE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO CRAFT A MESSAGING STRATEGY DESIGNED TO DEFLECT BLAME INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON GRIEVING FAMILIES, BUT SHE WOULDN'T SPEAK TO US, EVEN THOUGH SHE IS A PUBLIC OFFICIAL WHOSE SALARY IS PAID FOR BY THE TAXPAYERS.

You can write that instead of publishing a disingenuous statement, I promise! It won't hurt! It doesn't even have to be in all caps, I'm just making a point I'm very tired of making.

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"Yantis, who no longer works as a spokesman for the state, declined to comment."

And, apparently, to send in a statement.

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What's Yantis doing now? Providing "leadership development," among other things.

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"As state officials discussed the PR of the crisis, more families of veterans' home residents were getting worried."

A lot of energy expended shaping and distributing false messaging that could have otherwise gone toward doing some good for people who deserved it. Shaking my damn head.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Beachwood Radio Interview Hour #2: Bloodshot Records' Nan Warshaw Is A Heroic Refugee Resettler
A life of sin, punk rock and social action.

Rated TIRGPGIAL for This Is Really Good, People, Give It A Listen.

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Leaks Reveal Just How Bad The New York Times's Editorial Page Editor Is At His Job
"What reading this taught me is that the website I work for, which covers the designer accessory industry and employs four people full-time, has a more cogent and nuanced approach to our editorial viewpoint than the opinion section of the New York Times."

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What Happens To Aid Projects When The Money Dries Up And The Spotlight Fades?
In Iraq, more money than ideas. In South Sudan, not enough money. In East Timor, enough money but not enough sense. Lessons learned.

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On This Day In . . .

2011: Reading Rahm Part 1: The Master Media Manipulator.

"I'm going to fuck you," he declared.

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2012: The University of Clout.

"Politicians exerted their influence at the University of Illinois to boost admissions prospects for the relatives of lobbyists, fundraisers, a union leader and other connected applicants."

Including the absolute bullshit of Michael Madigan's Mouth, Steve Brown.

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Followed by More Secret Scholarships.

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2013: Remembering Obama's Sequester.

And they did.

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ChicagoGram

Rip Governor #chicagocruisers

A post shared by FLASH ABC MARS (@flash_abc) on

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ChicagoTube

Chicago Stock Footage Including:

* Businesspeople Working At Computer In Office

* Mom, Dad, Little Girl And Baby

* Portrait Of Young Attractive Brunette

* Sport Couple Talking

* Happy Young Woman With Smartphone And Earphones

* Barista Giving Coffee to Customer

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BeachBook

"Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness, and cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty, just like thousands of seats for the upcoming Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour."

Plus, what the fuck does that lyric even mean? Cue Pavement.

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While D'arcy Wretzky is a bit wackadoodle herself, this rings true:

Wretzky also questioned the integrity of the band's reunion, alleging that Corgan's failed pro wrestling venture was the impetus for the comeback. "We almost immediately started talking about a reunion, because he said to me: 'Well, maybe you know, and maybe you don't, but with this wrestling thing I kind of got myself into a bit of a hole,' Wretzky recounted Corgan saying. "Billy always said, 'Oh, I'll never do just a reunion and play the oldies just for money.' That's exactly what it is now," she added.

Adding:

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Also, just FYI, Corgan is an Alex Jones Trumpist who believes in the lizard people.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Something completely different.



Permalink

Posted on February 28, 2018


MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - Another Week Of Trubisky Analysis.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.


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